Resources

Part 11 - Suzanne Little ’Opening Doors’

Opening Doors Part 11 - Setting up a Colour Tent

A Colour Tent

Different kinds of tent can be used as follows:

A hand held tent can be used in the first instance to assess a child's responses to colour and the need for closeness or distance from the tent (to allow maximum freedom of the child's arm or body movement).

Suzanne Little

A ceiling hung frame tent (which can have a narrow frame or a larger frame)

A sheet of 4m length approximately, fluorescent single colour material either, orange, green, yellow or pink.

Instructions

(Tent size can be narrow or wide depending on the child)

The Tent Pack

Four poles, four corner elbows, a length of material in the child's preferred colour and a well secured ceiling hook.

Construction instructions

The 'elbow' joints have white cord attached to each elbow and these are connected to a large ring for securing to a ceiling hook.

Before placing the poles into the four elbows ensure that the elbow's cord and ring are hanging correctly.

Begin by putting two poles opposite each other into the elbows creating the square shape of the frame.

When preparing to put the frame together it is helpful to have a partner holding the two frame pieces for ease of connecting all the pieces together, and place together as illustrated in the photograph.

Ensure that each corner elbow and pole are fixed securely by pushing each pole firmly into the elbow. You can put a small amount of PVA glue into each elbow before adding the pole if the frame is required as a permanent fixture.

Ceiling hook and safety measures

Test the fixture of the hook to the ceiling (or any other method of fixture) to ensure that it is secure before putting the frame onto the hook or fixture. The frame is light weight, however, when the material is added it becomes heavier,therefore test and ensure that the frame is secure before and after adding the material.

Material

Use the material to place around the frame to enclose the child on both sides as shown in the photograph. Place the material over the frame to form two sides to enclose the child. Part of the front of the tent is left open for observation of visual responses. The material can be brought closer together at the back and slightly over at the front as in the photograph to create the opening.

Test the fixture of the hook to the ceiling (or any other method of fixture) to ensure that it is secure before putting the frame onto the hook or fixture. The frame is lightweight, however, when the material is added it becomes heavier, therefore, test and ensure that the frame is secure before and after adding the material.

Lighting

Light needs to be either above the tent or behind it in order for brightness of the colour orange material to have full effect.

Positioning

Positioning in the tent needs to be in the middle, or more towards the back depending on the child and size of chair. It is important to ensure the tent surrounds the child on both sides with close proximity. The front material can be brought forward as in these photographs,leaving a space open to observe responses.

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